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this is "world news." tonight, inside syria. our terry moran makes the dangerous journey into the heart of the conflict. damascus, sealed off from much of the world. with the siege ruler issues a defiant warning today. >> sky high. the cost of gas pricing, for 32 straight days. will it go to $4? when can you count on prices going down? skyfall. a meteor overhead in florida. anxious phone calls. how much warning will a new high tech system give everyone on earth? and, danica does it. for the first time, she is the leader of the pack on the nascar track. how does tiny danica patrick have the physical strength to
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outrace the guys? good evening. and a good holiday to you. and we begin tonight with an international call to action on the long, volatile battle inside syria, a battle that has so many repercussions for the united states. today, a u.n. panel declared it's time to bring charges, using those two powerful words, war crimes. and they say the crimes were committed not just by the government of president assad, but by his mysterious opposition, as well. so, as the battle rages closer to the capital of damascus, our terry moran has made the dangerous journey into the heart of the simmering conflict. he is in damascus itself. >> reporter: the road from beirut to damascus. we drove into syria along this heavily guarded route -- checkpoint after checkpoint after checkpoint.
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it is now a lifeline, as damascus, the stronghold of the government of president bashar assad, becomes a city under siege. it is a dirty war, in a crucial country. just look at the map. the kay use engulfing syria threatens to spill over into iraq on one side, israel and lebanon on the other. a nightmare scenario for the u.s. the united nations now estimates that 70,000 people have been killed in the fighting, though, no one really knows. a u.n. commission today called for war crimes investigations of both sides. assad's government, which has sought to crush the rebellion by any means necessary. and the rebels, many of whom are increasingly seen by ordinary syrians as war lords, gangsters and religious fanatics who regularly post videos of beheadings and other atrocities on youtube. damascus is quiet tonight.
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some light traffic. no one really walking around. 5 million people hunkered down, as the terrible war that is tearing their country apart has now arrived here, in fierce battles raging in the city's suburbs. syria's many minorities live in terror of a jihadist takeover of their country. before we came here, we visited christian refugees from syria who had fled to beirut. they said they were forced out of their villages by muslim fundamentalists -- ethnically cleansed. they supported the rebellion at first, but not now. they've lost their homes, their communities, their way of life. "we lived freely as christians," this man tells me, "putting up christmas trees and decorations, but now we are being targeted." a dirty war, no end in sight. we should let you know we've come to this country with the permission of the government who want the other side of the story told. but there's no doubt the
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rebellion here has changed. and ordinary syrians increasingly just want the fighting to stop and they dread the chaos that's been unleashed here. bashar assad himself seems to know this. the man the u.s. said must go told a group of visitors today, "we are sure we will win." diane? >> all right, terry moran, our thanks to you. and terry will be sending out more reports to us from inside syria in the days ahead. back here at home, it's time to fasten our seat belts. for 32 straight days now, gasoline prices have soared, now a four-month high. $3.73 a gallon. and we learned today how much higher they'll rise in april and when they should start falling again. the newest member of our abc team, a veteran business reporter, linzie janis, here to explain. welcome. >> reporter: thank you, diane. you know, americans spend 4% of their household budget on gas last year.
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it's the biggest slice in three decades and it makes the recent spike all the more worrying. >> reporter: the pearsons know what they're not looking for in the family car. >> i don't want an suv, it's too much price -- it's too pricey on gas. >> reporter: they're giving up more space for more miles to the gallon. it's their number one priority. >> close to $4 already, i think by the end of the month, it will be $4. >> reporter: prices often spike in the spring as refineries switch over to a summer blend of gasoline, but this year they're rising well ahead of schedule. in california, where some gas stations are already charging $5 a gallon -- >> i'm at $64, it usually takes me, like, 50 bucks to fill up. >> reporter: drivers are starting to make sacrifices. >> dinners out. movie night. things like that. >> reporter: the big fear is that rising gas prices threaten a fragile economic recovery. >> if we hit $4 a gallon on regular unleaded across the country, that could do a lot of damage. nothing hurts more more quickly than rising gasoline prices.
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>> reporter: the price tracker th at predicts gas will reach $3.75 to $4.05 by april. as the pearsons shop for their new car, they worry about their annual trip to south carolina in april. last year's trip cost them $300 in gas. this year, just $230 in their new car. mom and dad may be focused on fuel, but young austin has a different wish. what kind of car do you want to get? >> red! >> reporter: and diane, some possible relief in sight. says that prices will probably start to held lower around memorial day. >> all right, linzie, thank you again so much and welcome to abc news once more. and now, we held out to the heartland. this was the scene in fargo, north dakota, today. whiteout conditions turning an intersection into an obstacle course. and another winter blast on the
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move expected to wallop the plains with blizzard conditions. to the mountains of california to the midwest in the coming days. and with snowstorms so much nor the forecast, there was a climate change headline today from some of the nation's top scientists. saying we should brace ourselves for less snow but more blizzards. so, what does that mean? abc's david kerley explains. >> reporter: it doesn't seem to make sense. blistering blizzards. >> up during the middle of the night and it looked like a blizzard outside. >> reporter: shoveling your sidewalk, you may be asking, this is global warming? >> i'm ready for spring. yeah, i'm definitely sick of winter. >> reporter: even the comics are getting in on the snow show. >> global warming is a total hoax. and i'll tell you how i know. because it's cold. today. where i live. >> reporter: but new studies confirm what scientists have been saying. we will get less snow.
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rutgers scientists have now documented a million scare mile decline of snow cover over nearly 50 years. and a new study from princeton scientists predicts global snowfall over the next 50 years will shinning more than a foot. 30% to 70% drop in snow in the u.s. by the end of this century. but when we do get snow, watch out. >> every once in awhile, there's going to be a big storm, a kind of knockout punch. >> reporter: bigger blizzards, but less snow? that's because a warmer at more fear can hold more moisture, sucking it up from the oceans. most of it will come down as rain. but when it gets cold enough, it will turn into snow, a lot of it. and we could get hit by a monster storm. one of these studies and its predictions is based on computer models and some wonder, how good are the models? but the weather patterns are already changing. >> get out your shovels. snowstorms with two, three feet that used to seem highly unusual, that may, in fact, become more typical.
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>> reporter: bigger storms, less snow overall. a new reality. david kerley, abc news, washington. and now we have an update about the fwir that crippled the carnival cruise ship. 4 4,200 people stranded on board. it was caused by a fuel leak, hot oil sparking that blaze. there's no indication that the leak was anything but accidental. and as of tonight, two passengers have filed suit against carnival, including one woman who claims she suffered severe dehydration and bruising from aggressive passengers on those long food lines. and now, to the new clues in the oscar mipistorius murder ca. tomorrow, he will appear in court. and tonight, abc's bazi kanani speaks with someone who has spoken directly to pistorius. >> reporter: world famous for his triumphs over adversity, oscar pistorius is facing his
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toughest challenge yet. facing murder charges for the death of his cover model girlfriend. in his cramped jail cell, this pastor prayed with him. >> i saw him as a really, really lonely young man, really heartbroken and sad. >> reporter: she tells abc news, when she visited pistorius on sunday, he was humbled. >> oscar was also devastated about reeva's family, as well as his own. >> reporter: pistorius is currently losing the battle for public opinion in south africa, where incriminating claims are swirling in local media. new reports quoting police sources say that steroids were found in his house and investigators are testing his blood for the drug that can cause 'roid rage, aggressive outbursts. that a bloody cricket bat was found in his bedroom, possibly used in a vie leapt argument before the shooting. that his girlfriend, reeva steenkamp, may have fled to the
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bathro bathroom, where she was shot at least three times through the door. a reality show steenkamp recently taped is now airing on national tv. in the first episode this weekend, a promise to sign off of the show with grace and gratitude. >> with the way the people act in their exit, it's so important that you even made an impact in a positive or negative way. and i'm going to miss you all so much. and i love you, very, very much. >> reporter: steenkamp's family is expected to make a public comment tomorrow after burying their daughter in a private ceremony, on the same day oscar pistorius is expected to make his first public comment on the case during his bail hearing. diane? >> bazi kanani reporting in from pretoria tonight. and tonight, we have learned that a prominent sports owner has died, jerry buss, who used the millions he made in real estate to buy the los angeles lakers for $67.5 million in 1979
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and transformed them into a very flashy franchise. he paid a fortune for heavyweights like kareem abdul-jabbar, magic johnson and shaquille o'neal. the team would win ten nba championships under his ownership and become valued at a billion dollars. he was 80 years old. and still ahead here on "world news," for the first time, she is the leader of the pack on the nascar track. big news tonight. and we have the secret of the physical stamina that led tiny danica patrick to outrace the men, coming up next. see life in the best light.
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then i read an article about a study that looked at the long term health benefits of taking multivitamins. they used centrum silver for the study... so i guess my wife was right. [ male announcer ] centrum. always your most complete. if your a man with low testosterone, so i guess my wife was right. you should know that axiron is here. the only underarm treatment for low t. that's right, the one you apply to the underarm. axiron is not for use in women or anyone younger than 18. axiron can transfer to others through direct contact. women, especially those who are or who may become pregnant, and children should avoid contact where axiron is applied as unexpected signs of puberty in children or changes in body hair or increased acne in women may occur. report these signs and symptoms to your doctor if they occur. tell your doctor about all medical conditions and medications. do not use if you have prostate or breast cancer. serious side effects could include increased risk of prostate cancer; worsening prostate symptoms; decreased sperm count; ankle, feet, or body swelling; enlarged or painful breasts; problems breathing while sleeping; and blood clots in the legs.
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common side effects include skin redness or irritation where applied, increased red blood cell count, headache, diarrhea, vomiting, and increase in psa. see your doctor, and for a 30-day free trial, go to as we said, it's been big news. she has crashed through a speed and gender barrier. danica patrick, who won the top position in nascar's upcoming big race, the daytona 500. it is the first time a woman has ever earned the lead spot in this grueling, physical sport. and abc's paula faris shows us the secrets of how she did it. >> reporter: in the 65-year history of nascar, there has never been a female winner. >> danica patrick in green. >> reporter: but after winning daytona's pole position, danica patrick is in position to change that. >> just like anybody else in this moment, i'm happy, i'm proud. >> reporter: so, how did she do it? danica credits her team, state
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of the art car and grueling workouts. biology tells us men's muscles outperform women's in endurance sport and racing is like a three-hour workout. so, danica says she focuses on her upper body strength, building neck muscles to stay upright during those hard turns. controlling the steering wheel is like holding a medicine ball in front of you for two hours. punching the brake pedal on those turns is like pushing down 300 pounds. all the while, battling sauna-like 150 degree temperatures inside, add a body suit on that, drivers can sweat off seven pounds in a single race. is there any doubt in your mind that she's in the best physical shape that she could be? >> no doubt in my mind. she's constantly working out, watching her diet. >> reporter: take a look at this. danica dwarfed by her male counters. eight inches shorter, 50 pounds lighter. she's levelled the playing field despite those staggggering physical differences. >> she has not set out to be the
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fastest girl. she's set out to be the fastest driver and she proved that. >> reporter: even the daughter of one of her feerlsest competitors, jeff gordon, taking a photo not with her dad, but with danica. she's already shattered history, making the track's fastest speed in decades. next sunday, danica patrick may just do it again. >> i don't give myself a super high chance of winning, but i give myself a chance to win, absolutely. i do think that it's possible. >> reporter: now, danica was the favorite to win the pole. so, that means she will start sunday's race on the front row, leading that elite pack of 45. >> and how many pole winners have gone on to win the race? >> only nine. and the last winner was in 2000, but say has likes her odds, dropping her from 18 to 1 down to 66 to 1. >>ing okay, thank you so much, paula faris. and coming up here, michelle obama reveals why she really got those bangs. coming up in our "instant index." [ fishing rod casting line, marching band playing ]
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before starting enbrel, your doctor should test you for tuberculosis and discuss whether you've been to a region where certain fungal infections are common. you should not start enbrel if you have an infection like the flu. tell your doctor if you're prone to infections, have cuts or sores, have had hepatitis b, have been treated for heart failure, or if you have symptoms such as persistent fever, bruising, bleeding, or paleness. [ phil ] get back to the things that matter most. ask your rheumatologist if enbrel is right for you. [ doctor ] enbrel, the number one biologic medicine prescribed by rheumatologists. at the top of our "instant index" tonight, the first lady, michelle obama, laughingly talking with our friend rachael ray about what inspired her to get those bold new bangs. >> this is my mid-life crisis, the bangs. i couldn't get a sports car, they won't let me bungee jump, so, instead, i cut my bangs. >> she turned 49 last month and mrs. obama says with 50 right
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around the corner, bangs are the safest way to take a walk on the wild side. the first lady's interview with rachael ray will air on wednesday. and, this next story gives new meaning to the term mac attack. burger king's twitter field was hacked and instead of the burger king logo, the golden arches sneaked on the page. and the joke message, we just gold sold to mcdonald's because the whopper flopped. it was a prank. mcdonald's said they had nothing to do about it and the hacked account was quickly suspended by burger king today. and a mystery that went down with the titanic could be solved tonight. this was the famous scene, quiet courage, on the deck, as the band played on. >> all right, boys, nice and chewy, so there's no panic. wedding dance. ♪ >> well, experts believe the violins played by the band on
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deck has been identified. the prized possession of bandmaster wallace hartley. legend has it when hartley's body was pulled from the ocean, fully dressed, the violin, in its case, was strapped to his chest. it was later returned to his fiance, but after all these years, it's been submitted to new tests which reportedly signal it was, indeed, hartley's violin. if so, it will be auctioned in april. and, if you see something you'd like to have in our "instant index," tweet it to me me, @dianesawyer, i'll be reading. and coming up, with all those meteors lighting up the skies, from siberia to florida, we're going to show you something brand new that might give all of us a warn iing one' going to crash. nexium, the purple pill, helps provide many with day and night relief of heartburn symptoms caused by acid reflux disease. there is risk of bone fracture, and low magnesium levels. side effects may include headache, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.
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and finally tonight, all of us around the world are still gazing up at the sky after the giant meteor crashed in russia. well, now two meteor sightings have been sighted over the united states. so, experts are racing to create a system that could give earthlings more of a warning. abc's kirit radia tonight from russia. >> reporter: in the skies over california, a fireball lights up the night sky. then last night, a meteor shower in florida. all this after a giant meteor exploded over russia traveling more than 60 times faster than the speed of sound. exploding in the atmosphere with the force of 30 hiroshima bombs. it's a barrage from space that has everyone asking, are we
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ready for the big one? some 100 tons of space rock enter earth's atmosphere every day, and while much of it lands in the ocean, pex erts are on the alert. >> there is a distinct possibility on of those things is headed our way and we don't even know about it. >> reporter: they say the idea of blowing up an asteroid like bruce willis did in "armageddon" is hollywood fantasy. even if you could hit the meteor, it's unlikely to stop it. but one prominent group has another idea, straight out of a science fiction movie. >> push it into a different orbit. >> reporter: it's called sentinel. space telescopes would detect incoming objects, then unmanned space shims could nudge them out of earth's path. they're trying to raise $200 million to make it happen and hope to launch the telescope by 2016. another project aims to give earthlings a held's up by 2015. they think they could've given those residents in russia at least a day's notice. perhaps enough time to evacuatie vavacuatevacuate.
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"it's something we only saw in the movies," he said, "we never thought we would see it ourselves." as if we needed one more reminder of our planet's active and unpredictable neighborhood. kirit radia, abc news, moscow. >> and more, of course, of this at "nightline" will be along later at its new time, 12:35 a.m. eastern. and tonight, on this holiday, i'd love a chance to say hello to a friend who says hello to me every night, even though she's only 2 years old. >> diane sawyer! >> yeah, diane sawyer. >> that is melina from illinois, my knave hit new star of youtube. so, melina, hello to you, and good night. look, every day we're using more and more energy.
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the world needs more energy. where's it going to come from? ♪ that's why right here, in australia, chevron is building one of the biggest natural gas projects in the world. enough power for a city the size of singapore for 50 years. what's it going to do to the planet? natural gas is the cleanest conventional fuel there is. we've got to be smart about this. it's a smart way to go. ♪

ABC World News With Diane Sawyer
ABC February 18, 2013 6:30pm-7:00pm EST

News/Business. Diane Sawyer. (2013) New. (HD) (CC)

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